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  • Writer's pictureAnna Doyle

“O time, thou must untangle this, *knot* I."

I'm a little late to the starting line here, as we are already two weeks into rehearsals. We spent the first week on a slow and deliberate read through, and the second week going back through and working through scenes in more detail.

I quickly learned that Viola is a bundle of contradictions. She shows up in a strange place, disguises herself to find work and stay safe, and immediately falls in love with the man who hires her. He sends her to woo someone else, so part of her wants to do this job well for him and convince Olivia to love him, but then also, she loves him and doesn’t want him to be with her so….?

Of course it’s impossible to play two things at once. So I am working on finding moments of earnestly wooing Olivia versus moments of really not wanting to do this job and perhaps doing it poorly. Henry encouraged me to go through those wooing scenes and pick lines that are just reciting Orsino’s speeches word for word. I think those moments can perhaps be delivered without much passion or excitement, as if I am reluctant to do the job. But then there are moments when I do get caught up in how amazing Orsino is and genuinely do want Olivia to see that. It’s confusing for me right now, and it’s certainly confusing for Viola.

Since Viola has probably double the stage (screen) time as Sebastian, I tend to view Sebastian’s “side plot” in relation to my “primary plot” with Viola. My main focus with him right now is making him seem like a different character than Cesario. We see Viola the woman in her first scene, and then Viola playing a boy, and then Sebastian should ideally seem like a real man. I am experimenting with a lower vocal range, and larger, more energized physical movements. This is challenging while we are working sitting down, but I do change my posture, set my legs wider, and feel an energy lower in my body.

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